An Albuquerque father did not think twice before diving into 10-feet of sewage to rescue his 5-year-old son who had fallen into an uncovered manhole in the middle of a construction zone. Nearly one week since the accident and without any changes to the way such manholes are covered, Bob Anderson tells KOB that he is demanding that the City of Albuquerque acts to improve public safety:
Anderson told KRQE that it was dark when his family were on their evening walk, and the metal cover that was supposed to block the manhole had been moved. The boy fell into the hole after running ahead. Without hesitation, Anderson followed into the disgusting pool and secured his son, as his wife then helped pull them back above ground.
Nearly one week later, Anderson explained to KRQE that the steel plate covering the manhole is not enough to prevent such accidents from happening again, because "anyone can just pick this up and throw this off." He is now demanding more should be done to secure the covers and make sure they can't be tampered with.
"They're (the city) trying to blame the people for their sloppiness and their job here," Anderson told KRQE. "I'm afraid somebody's going to get hurt before this is all over."
Mark Motsko, Albuquerque Department of Municipal Development spokesman,told KOB that the city cannot change the covers because anything heavier would be a hazard to get off if there was an accident. To remedy the danger brought to the city's attention by the Anderson accident, Motsko says increased patrol have been placed in the contruction area.
"We've added an inspector all weekend from now until the project is complete to go up and down twice a day on the weekends to make sure that the covers are in place and that the barrels are also in place," Motsko said.
As for the boy who first fell into the manhole, Anderson tells KRQE that his son is fine now and that "it scared him more than anything."
However, the father has not felt so good and told KOB that he has been to the emergency room "a couple of times from some kind of bacteria."
The construction project at the site of the manhole is scheduled for completion this spring.